Hello everyone and welcome to a new post. This particular post is a little different in that it will be a short essay on how and when I believe the Endeavour series will end.
I was discussing with two friends, Henry and Graham, about the subject of when Endeavour will come to an end. Henry wondered, “Can these series run in to the 70’s? I wonder if Mr. Dexter had any reservations on stopping Endeavour getting close to his first book.”
Graham answered Henry’s question “The time line of the books is completely different from the time line of the various TV series; lets not forget that Morse meets Lewis in the books in the mid 1970’s but in the TV time line it is not until 1987.”
Henry also noted that, ” It’s impossible for the current Mores to become a DCI within five years. Also Endeavour needs to meet DCI McNutt to learn the craft of detection as mentioned in the books and show. Of course continuation of the series will all depend on UK viewership. Time will tell. Again thanks.”
All this discussion got me thinking on the subject of how and when the Endeavour TV series will end. As for when the show will finish I believe, as I have done so for a long time, that there will only be 33 episodes. The original Morse series and the Lewis series both had 33 episodes. Kevin Whately who played Lewis insisted that the series end at 33 episodes so as not to supersede the original series and overshadow the memory of John Thaw.
My belief has always been that the series will finish in 1970. I believe that after this series there will be only six more episodes making the total 33. So either a series 7 with 6 episodes. Or a 7th and 8th series with 3 episodes each.
I think Russell Lewis the creator and writer of the Endeavour series will, like Kevin Whately, not want to supplant the Lewis or the original Morse series.
Personally and from an abstract point of view I would be annoyed if the Endeavour series went beyond 33 episodes. I also believe another reason the series will not go much further is because Shaun Evans will want to spread his acting and directorial wings further. One has to remember that if the series goes to a seventh or eight series that will mean Shaun Evans and Roger Allam will have been working on the series for around seven years. For many actors that is a long time on one series as one character. I think Shaun Evans will want to move on to other roles while he is still relatively young. Or he will want to direct films. He has been taking an interest in directing for a reason and it’s not just to direct the odd episode of Endeavour or Casualty.
For those who watched the original Morse show when it first aired and maybe for those who have watched it recently the character of Desmond McNutt looms large and his character is a huge part of the lore around Morse. McNutt appeared in the episode Masonic Mysteries (one of my and the majority of the fans of the original series favourite episodes).
Of course Thursday mentions McNutt while sitting in the pub with Morse in the episode Neverland, Series 2, episode 4.
My opinion regarding McNutt, is that he will appear in the final scene of the final episode. The scene will go along the lines of this; Thursday retires. We have an emotional scene between Thursday and Morse. Thursday leaves the police station leaving Morse looking forlornly toward Thursday’s retreating back as he leaves through the detective’s office door. Or the scene is set somewhere on the streets of Oxford and Thursday walks off leaving Morse wondering if will ever get a better mentor than Thursday.
Morse walks/drives back to the police station. He arrives and there is word of a new DCI arriving at the police station. Morse sits at his desk considering his career as a police officer. The door of the office opens. Chief Superintendent Bright enters with another man. Morse and all the police officers stand up. Bright says, “Gentlemen, I would like to introduce DCI Desmond McNutt. The camera cuts to Morse looking at McNutt. McNutt looks at Morse. There is a look between them of recognition even though they have never met. The camera stays on Morse who gives an almost imperceptible nod of the head and smile. Fade out to the Inspector Morse theme.
What do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.
I think your final scene is perfect. We don’t need to see more than that. And I agree on the 33 episodes too. It depends on actors availability and commitments, and wishes, if they will make 2 S of 3 or 1 S of 6 episodes.
I think you have hit the nail on the head, in that the series will not breach 33 episodes. Too much rides on it and precedents have already been set.
Your imaginings of how McNutt might be introduced could just earn you a ‘treatment’ fee from the production company! It seems the ideal way to introduce him without really having to establish the character in any way.
I rather like your idea on the ending of Endeavour. The final scene particularly feels so right, the reference to the original show is definite yet subtle enough, just as it was in the ending of the first Endeavour (so in a sense, I find that such an ending would bring the show full circle). I also agree on the number of episodes, they should follow the example of Lewis and end at 33.
Sounds great! You should be a consultant. I’m thinking even there should be fewer than 33 episodes. 30 maybe with then a 31st one as a double length special with the ending as you describe.
Great article. I’d like young Morse to meet Jack Regan (The Sweeney).
I always thought that the opening scene of the very first episode of Morse (Dead of Jericho) was deliberately Sweeny-esque. I’m sure the whole chop shop bust scene was constructed to make you think that Morse was going to be a double hard bastard like Regan before the real Morse was revealed. Very clever I thought.
I agree Paul.
Love it Chris – but I still think that Thursday will come to a bad end either death or somehow mixed up in something nasty that Morse has to expose or Thursday blames him for. I just often think how to explain never mentioning Thursday in the later series. But then again he only really mentioned McNutt because of De Fries so maybe I over think!
DI Thursday is not the only one that needs to have an end. Only Strange and DeBrym translate to “Morse “, so what becomes of their characters? Bright, like Thursday can retire, but Joan? Seems the choices are a marriage or a bad end. Lots of things that need wrapping up.
I wonder if what they’re setting up starting last season with Fred’s difficulties with his brother, and the flying squad might be the start of his undoing? The trailer for season 6 appears to show Fred in difficulties and I could see his character coming to an end due to the problems suggested in series 5. That might leave McNutt to come in and pick up the pieces from Fred’s fall and would lend credibility to why Thursday is never mentioned by Morse in the original series (who ever mentions the disgraced) and why he always considered McNutt his mentor.
That’s an interesting idea Tom. I have wondered if Russell Lewis will address the elephant in the room, Thursday not being mentioned in the original series or Colin’s books. Yes we know Fred Thursday is a Russell creation but it will be interesting if he does address Fred’s existence in the Morse Universe. Certainly the disgraced angle would be a good one. However, would Endeavour fans be happy with that outcome.
Killing off characters has become, I feel, a bit cheesy. I would have Thursday follow the money, and retrieve it, but at the cost of being obliged to retire. The character of Joan can be matured and play a significant role in the recovery, as her influence on her father increases. Then the family can emigrate, a move initiated and organised by Joan.
As Joan evolves, her intelligence and independent character prevent any relationship with Morse developing very far. Morse, fond as he is of women and sex, never manages to maintain a relationship, much as he would like to. And he’s not too good at friendships, either.
Somewhere in the thinking must be “where do we go after Endeavour?” Maybe somewhere in this, or the probable final series, lies the answer. Unless Mr Fox can be persuaded to come back for Hathaway, which I reckon could be brilliant.
I’m hoping the powers that be read this post! And the comments. Brilliant.
Ah, you’re probably spot on, Chris, but I hate to think of it ending as it brings on a Morse-ian type melancholy.
Have I seen you before? In another life perhaps….
I agree with you Chris and others that the Thursday disgrace has potential and would make better drama but he as you said Chris he is a much loved character (for many more than Endeavour) so fans may not be happy- also then taints all the earlier episodes on repeat.
I must admit I think the Joan/Endeavour thing has gone on for too long to do nothing at all with it and I believe that death is the most likely exit for her character and I think like Fancy was she is a dead man walking. I thought he was going to be killed the minute I saw him and I have the same feeling about Joan. Whether that will be in this series or next. I can’t see her hanging around in the series as just a friend to Endeavour especially if he is to have other romances. That never seems to work in other dramas when they try that.
What a great ending you have composed, Chris – although it makes me quite sad to think of this series ending!! I also hate to think of Thursday dying but especially don’t like the idea of his reputation being sullied — you’re right, we fans of his would definitely not go for that!! Of course, many of us have been hoping for an Inspector Hathaway (with the lovely Laurence Fox) as someone mentioned earlier!! Hathaway would (kinda-sorta) extend the Morse tradition, albeit once removed from the original. Now I am truly more than a bit melancholy.
Some interesting ideas but I’m less convinced. For me, the big last scene is probably the Jag. If Shaun Evans can be persuaded to keep going perhaps with yearly feature length specials like the later Morses, then we could get to him rising to Inspector (not DCI). That would be the perfect time to buy a then-cheaper Mark II. There is room to introduce McNutt as Thursday and Morse move apart in their new stations. But would McNutt be acceptable to current fans and Evans/Allam, unlikely. Can a series have two alpha males? Perhaps McNutt could be the more philosophical mentor figure for the maturing Morse. The current writers may well be taking the Evans line that this show is separate from Morse and apart from a few crumbs, the links are unimportant. But I’d still finish with buying the Jag. ☺
Hi Marcus. You could very well be correct in regard to the Jag being in the final scene of the final episode. It’s certainly another trope that has to be addressed before the end of the Endeavour series.
Interesting too that Shaun mentioned in an interview that in this series Morse will buy a place in Oxford that will the same place that the older Morse lives in – so after that the jag would be the right next step in series 7 (which I think will be the last – least of all because I think Shaun Evans is getting bored/frustrated with doing the part – It comes out in lots of interviews in my opinion)
That’s interesting in regard to Endeavour buying a place. John Thaw’s Morse’s house which was in Ealing, West London not Oxford. In 2009 it hit the papers when squatters moved in, wrecked the place, and it got boarded up. The last I heard was that the Newcastle Building Society bought the place, renovated it and were looking for £2million pounds. I suppose they could reconstruct the facade of the house in a studio or use CGI. Looking forward to see what they do.
I remember seeing those news reports now – had completely forgotten. I am sure they could reconstruct it enough for the show. I worry a little when I read about series 6 and the LED Zeplin music – I think it is a shame that the great music from the original series and indeed the earlier seasons of Endeavour seemed to have gone.
I fear the house was bought by a non-Morse developer who rather I sympathetically added a large, soul-destroying extension. Urgh. So, exterior Ealing shots not a runner. I don’t think it was a flat though, was it? Would a DS be able to afford a large house in Oxford in 1969?
I thought it was a house too – I am sure Chris will have some pix and be able to clarify
Hi Maria, it waz a house. Here’s the story about squatters who ruined the house, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1208107/Squatters-wreck-Inspector-Morses-2m-Victorian-home.html
I love this but wouldn’t want Fred to die.. Just watched Morse and Strange says ‘Cant imagine you as a young man’ whoops … yes you can..
I would love to see him buy the Jag.. but I’d love a reference to Lewis somewhere..
Welcome Fiona. I too don’t want Fred to die. In regard to Lewis, if you mean the character I doubt that will happen. Lewis in 1969 would have been in his mid teens.
Mmm…lots of intriguing ideas here.
Capping the number of episodes at 33 is appropriately reverential to Morse and Lewis.
I think that it’s almost certain that McNutt will be a final scene of final episode appearance, pointing the way to a future which remains untold until picked up again in the original Inspector Morse series. The mentor relationship between Thursday and Morse doesn’t need to be re-visited in a McNutt/Endeavour story arc.
There will be loose ends to tie up. CS Bright can retire honourably (we’ve warmed to him over the Endeavour series) and DS Strange’s career is on an upwards trajectory, no doubt given a fillip by his investigation of the heroin ring and its potential links to police corruption.
But what about Fred Thursday? He’s a much loved character, having that aura of melancholy which viewers found so appealing in John Thaw’s portrayal of Morse himself in the original series. Thus a disgraced ending seems to me improbable. His marriage is breaking down, his finances have been under pressure and now he’s got in with a bad lot at the station, accepting bungs from a ‘bent copper’. An honourable man, succumbing to human weakness under sustained stress. A proud man seeing all that he most values – family, career, integrity – slipping away from him. It’s a lot for a man to handle. So perhaps he’ll exit by his own hand? The taboo of suicide and survivor guilt amongst his colleagues, not least Morse who knew him so well but didn’t spot the signs, might provide the cover for his not being mentioned again.
Whatever happens, it’s been a great run and an inspired idea to create a prequel for one of the best loved characters in British tv history.
I am hoping we will have a series 7 with six episodes. Morse will have his jag and his now famous house as mentioned above. Mc Nutt will be introduced. I shall be really annoyed if Fred Thursday doesn’t live to enjoy retirement. He certainly earned it. Maybe Joan can marry Strange. I love happy endings.
However I shall find it hard not to have some Morse shows to look forward too. The only solution I think is to start all over again. Maybe a new set of 33, to follow on from Endeavour series but set years later when he has become an Inspector. Those could be the Mc Nutt years to start with. There should be a new actor to play Morse, someone older perhaps. This series would end closer to where the original series began ( which I believe can not be remade). Failing that I will go with Inspector Hathaway, (with or without Fox).
I must admit I’m assuming that Joan Thursday will end up married to Jim Strange – after all, in “Coda” Joan gives his surname as her fake name to the bank robbers. And I’m pretty sure that we never see any contradictory indication of Chief Superintendent Strange’s wife in Inspector Morse.
Hi John. In regard to Joan and Jim getting married that is the prevailing thought around the Morse Universe. Strange’s wife’s name is never mentioned in the books or the Morse series.
Can Fred Thursday simply walk away , after having accepted a kickback- even though he returned it when he came to his senses? The Chief Constable will learn of Thursday ‘s fall from grace, and such a dereliction of duty must be investigated, even if Thursday’s fellow city men support him. Win will be back – but she probably has stopped calling her husband “Dad” and lets him make his own sandwiches! Box still lives, so his fate has to be dealt with, and he is a nasty character, even if he redeemed himself in the final episode. It was heroin trade and construction fraud, after all. Fred may want to save Box from a revenge or gangland killing and may heroically sacrifice himself – “die of wounds.” Morse will protect Fred’s reputation- if the preservation of Emil Baumgarten’s reputation is a foreshadowing.Joan marrying Strange seems plausible and would relieve the sorrow we would feel over Thursday’s passing. Morse never gets the girl. Maybe a new love interest will emerge, and he will (one hopes) meet Macnutt. Thanks for the great comments on a wonderful series.
Hi Kathleen. Having come to understand Russell Lewis’s way of writing I will wager that Fred’s fall from grace will not be mentioned again. I am certain that Ronnie Box will not return in any shape or form. There may be a passing reference in the first episode but that will be all. As I mentioned in one of posts on how I believe McNutt will appear, I don’t think he will be seen or heard until the final scene of the final episode that ends the series for good.
Why at the end of the episode in which Morse follows the villain Ludo to Italy is he shown loading an American revolver, a .38 Colt at his hotel but, when he confronts Ludo, produces a different pistol, a British Webley?
Hello Brice. I have no knowledge of guns so would never have noticed that. If true it is a very bad continuity error.
This a common error in most cop shows but less so in the British ones which rely less on car chases and gun fights than the American productions. It is strange that such a high level of accuracy is observed with respect to wardrobe, vehicles, architecture, dialogue and household furnishings and appliances but props such as firearms are treated as generic items. For some reason American film makers find it necessary to depict characters armed with guns that are not ready for immediate deployment. Shotguns with full magazines but empty chambers cannot be fired until the shooter operates the slide to chamber a round and the metallic sound of the action being cycled is intended to create dramatic effect. The same is often true when automatic pistols are used. With revolvers, a 19th century innovation, they invariably show the shooter opening the cylinder to confirm that the six chambers are loaded. He then, for no apparent purpose, spins the cylinder like a wheel before closing it. The spinning motion is accompanied by a clattering sound like that of a ratchet wrench and this is obviously dubbed because the cylinder is connected the the ratchet mechanism which rotates it only when it is closed and the gun is operable. When the cylinder is hanging open on the hinge it merely spins on a shaft and is silent. I have noted all manner of weapons related anachronisms and other glaring errors in movies and in television shows since I was kid in the 1950s and often wonder why they still persist when historic accuracy is so common in other aspects of film making. Check it out the next time you see someone use a gun in a film. The guy in the western will not simply cock his Winchester rifle and fire it. He will first operate the lever to chamber a cartridge and the characters in 20th century and later settings will rack the slides of their pistols and shotguns rather than just releasing the safety switch. Even in the award winning film “The Revenant” in which the lead character is subjected to a prolonged and realistic grizzly attack he ends up shooting the bear with his muzzle loading flintlock rifle when it is in a condition in which it could not possibly be fired. The hammer is cocked but the frizzen is open and the flash pan is empty. You’d have to Google the operation of a flintlock to see that such weapons cannot be discharged without a charge of priming powder in the pan and the frizzen closed. I have several rifles of the type used in the 1700s an have owned pistols like both of the ones used in the last “Endeavor” episode so that inconsistency was immediately noticed.